Jesse Martinez – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Jesse_Martinez-Gonzo-RayRaeGoldman

Name: Jesse Martinez
Hometown: Venice, CA
Age: 50
Sponsors: Santa Monica Airlines, Ace, Indy, Globe, Venice Originals.

What set-up are you riding right now?
I’ve got two boards that I’m riding. I’ve got a James Kelly board from Arbor with Paris Trucks and some Powell Peralta downhill wheels and I’m riding Blood Orange grip tape. My other set up is a Bustin Board with Ace trucks and some Madrid Black Fly grip tape and some small 55mm Powell Peralta wheels. I don’t know what they’re called, because they haven’t put them out yet.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built spot that you’ve skated lately?
I would say the park in San Luis Obispo is the most fun to skate. It’s a helluva good put together park. Unfortunately, I haven’t been skating a lot of DIY’s the last few years because I’ve been doing nothing but going down hills.

Have you ever built something to skate?
Yeah. One time we built this monster ramp back in 1980 at a friend Glen’s house. It had about five feet of flat bottom and it was ten feet high. Me and my buddy, Tony Reeves and a few other guys went out on campaigns on rainy nights, taking wood from construction sites. The ramp was a total failure, but we made it.

Who do you like to skate with these days?
I like to skate with Roland Sumile, and Will from Arbor. I like skating with a lot of downhill guys like Dave Rogers from GMR. It’s weird. My whole group of skate friends has done a 180 from vert and street guys to downhill guys.

Best skate graphic you have seen lately?
That’s a tough one. I always thought the Bob Biniak’s Bullet graphic was the best one of all time.

Best thing you’ve skated in a skatepark?
I liked the old Combi pool at Vans, not the refurbished one. It had a lot of personality to it. The new one looks pretty cookie-cutter perfect and all the walls are the same now. The Combi pool had a lot of backyard pool feel to it and I miss it.

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
Eddie Elguera, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Daewon Song, Rodney Mullen and Tony Trujillo. Trujillo is a straight fast gnarly skater. There are lots of radical technical skaters, but I always pay attention to him.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
I’d really like to see a snake run that has part of a downhill run to it. It’s impossible, but that would be rad.

Best road trip you ever took?
Bones Brigade ‘86.

Any skate-related charities you support?
That’s hard. I support all of them who help out kids that are more unfortunate than the rest. It’s good to help out the skate community in every way.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
I think the biggest responsibility is to pass down the stories from the guys before them. A lot of the younger kids don’t know where it all came from and who came before them. It’s the responsibility of all pro skaters to pass down the stories to younger generations that skate. Talk to them and let them know. There’s a big void because I think some of these young kids don’t look into their history as much as they should.

Which skate shops do you support?
Venice Originals, Rip City, Maui & Sons and Venice Skateboarding Stuff.

Favorite skate photo of all time?
Chuck Katz’ photo of me in Arizona and any old photo from the ‘80s of Christian Hosoi just blasting.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
The girls are getting so much better nowadays that I think they have a place, but the mainstream skate industry doesn’t give them as much attention as they should get.

What skate memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
I’ve got an unopened letter from Jay Adams that he sent me from jail.

Who contributes most to your local skate scene?
The kids who are keeping Dogtown’s name alive in Venice.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
Any big ollies on trannies, Neil Blender’s handplant and Eddie Elguera’s frontside rock n’ roll.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
Yeah. Why not? There are enough guys around the world that could almost hold up to the American pros. Honestly, I think it’s maybe 10 or 15 years away to when every country could stand up to the American skaters as a team. It would have to be street and vert. Downhill has such a wide range of pros in other countries that kick ass and that would be a really competitive thing too. America just has such a powerhouse of street and vert skaters, that putting another country’s best against our best is asking a lot, unless Bob Burnquist moved back to Brazil. Otherwise, every other country would have a hard time competing against America’s best street and vert skaters. We can come with a sick 20 man pro team. That’s asking a lot from other countries. I say that with all the respect in the world for all the other badass skaters that live in other countries. I think street would be the most equal contest of all just because there are so many great street skaters in other countries.

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
The day that Geri Lewis, and everyone else who contributed, like me and the Juice Magazine crew, got the Venice Skatepark put in. That was my proudest moment and my biggest day ever.

Jesse_Martinez-Gonzo-RayRaeGoldman Mess at Gonzo’s in the deep, tail tapping his way to the Hall of Fame with OG style, while Oster captures his soul. Photo by Ray Rae Goldman


 

ABOUT THE JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE:

When we started Juice Magazine 22 years ago, you could count the number of skateparks on one hand and grindable pool coping was mostly a distant memory. Now there are thousands of skateparks all over the world, along with a vast quantity of DIY spots built to skate. In 1993, the majority of skateboarders listened to punk rock or hip hop exclusively. Now skateboarders listen to almost every kind of sound created. Two decades ago, skateboarding related charities were non-existent. Today, there are numerous non-profits giving back to skateboarding in many ways. One of the most important differences between now and then is that, 22 years ago, there was a clear division between old school and new school skateboarding. Now that wall of separation has followed the same path as the Berlin Wall, allowing for an unprecedented unification of skateboarders all over the globe. Great strides have been made for girls that skate as well as the acceptance of skate history and long overdue recognition for skateboarding’s pioneers and its artifacts. At the same time, the current generation of skateboarders is taking skateboarding to new heights, previously unimaginable. As the landscape of the skateboarding industry changes on a daily basis, and the topic of skateboarding in the Olympics rears its head once again, along with the disturbing subject of who controls skateboarding being tossed about by corporate entities, we decided it was time to take a good look at the State of Skate. We asked 20 questions to 100 skateboarders, ages 8 to 58, and found that skateboarding is as diverse as the skateboarders that are addicted to it, no one controls skateboarding except skateboarders, and the State of Skate is savage and strong. Now get out there and skate tough!

JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE features interviews with 100 skateboarders including: Tony Alva, Dave Hackett, Chris Strople, Duane Peters, Steve Olson, Dave Duncan, Steve Alba, Tony Magnusson, Pat Black, Jesse Martinez, Bill Danforth, Jim Murphy, Ric Widenor, Lester Kasai, Glen Charnoski, Bryan Pennington, Peter Furnee, Jeremiah Risk, Ryan Smith, Jason Jessee, Omar Hassan, Cam Dowse, Jen O’Brien, Depth Leviathan Dweller, Brett Roper, Travis Beattie, Chris Gentry, CW Dunn, Chris Albright, Charlie Wilkins, Cairo Foster, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, BJ Morrill, Dr. Lenore L.A. Sparks, Sid Melvin, Jesse Irish, Packy Fancher, Greg Lutzka, Jimmy Larsen, Adam Dyet, Luis Tolentino, Greg Harbour, Frank Faria, Ryan DeCenzo, Dave Bachinsky, Johnny Turgesen, Casey Meyer, Edward Sanchez, David Gravette, Ben Hatchell, Brian Geib, Felipe Gouveia, Eric Santos, Kyle Smith, Cameron Revier, Josh Stafford, Justin Grubbs, Etienne Eden Archila, Sanzio Piacentini, Josh Elder, Eddie “Mighty” Moreno, Kevin Kowalski, Otto Pflanz, Jeremy Smith, Adam Wiggins, Jimmy Wilkins, Danny Gordon, Jake Hilbish, Corey Blanchette, Adam Legassie, Nick Santos, Trey Rounds, Curren Caples, Justyce Tabor, Andy Anderson, Sarah Thompson, Coral Guerrero, Collin Graham, Derek Scott, Ace Pelka, Sonny Rodriguez, Jarren Duke, Mikayla Sheppard, CJ Titus, Noah Schott, Emily Earring, Julian Torres, Wyatt Wisenbaker, Josh Forsberg, Nathan Midgette, Roman Pabich, Yago Dominguez, Jack Winburn, Jonas Carlsson, Kiko Francisco, Bryce Ava Wettstein, Desmond Shepherd, Matty Jessee and Luke Kahler.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, ORDER ISSUE #74 BY CLICKING HERE…

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